Flight with dog in the plane cabin to Mexico!!

Trip to Mexico: Taking our dog with us to the Caribbean

We travelled from Madrid to the Caribbean, more exactly to Mexico, with our dog and it was amazing! But what is it like to take a ten and a half hour flight with a dog on board? How was Rafa’s preparation? What documents were needed?

Stay there and read this article carefully because we will explain everything to you! 🙂

Destination and airline choice

We’ve been dying to return to Mexico for some time (as we’d been there on our honeymoon). As such, we decided that it was the right time to do it, with Rafita already trained and prepared to join us.

There was a lot of bustle at Madrid airport, but that didn’t make it harder to find the check-in counter. As we explained to you in this article, Rafa is our emotional support dog (ESAN). As such, he joins us on all trips and adventures.

If you are in a similar situation and want to take your ESAN with you on a trip, it is important that, when choosing your holiday destination, you pick an airline that allows you to take your pet with you in the cabin. In our situation, it’s essential to have Rafa near Pedro, as any stressful situation can trigger a crisis.

We opted for Wamos Air. We had never heard of it but it gave us the best impression. The flight was direct from Madrid to Cancún, in Mexico, unlike other companies. We were also given four seats so that we could be more comfortable, as the flight was long and the plane was quite empty. It was very nice of them!

Documents and travel preparation

As a trip is planned for humans, also for dogs there must be preparation. Rafa needed to get used to the airport’s environment, planes, large groups of people, etc. There were also documents and usual bureaucracies to deal with. Those are always strictly necessary for your pet to enter the country of destination. In this case, Mexico.

You must be aware of the obligations/prohibitions that involve travelling with an animal onboard, more specifically inside the cabin. In our case, travelling on Wamos Air, it would be necessary for Rafa:

  • To be 20kg maximum
  • To fit in the space assigned to the owner (floor or seat/lap)
  • He must be trained and educated to behave properly in public spaces
  • He must be able to poop and pee in a controlled manner without causing discomfort to other passengers.

For Pedro, as he’s Rafa’s owner as an ESAN, it would be needed for him to present proper documentation with a year maximum validity, signed by a licensed mental health professional, stating that he suffers from an emotional disorder and that he expressly needs to travel to the Caribbean with the animal onboard.

Read the full information here.

Required documents to travel with an ESAN:

  • Veterinarian’s name and certificate
  • Vet’s signature and vignette
  • Animal’s name
  • Owner’s name
  • Microchip number
  • Last rabies vaccine and expiration dates
  • Rabies’ Antibody Titration
  • Other vaccines
  • Date of last deworming (external and internal)
  • Updated animal’s passport with all the vignettes proving vaccinations and deworming
Selo Dica do Rafita EN 1

It is important to check the Rabies vaccine’s current law in the country you are going to. Since in Portugal the vaccine is valid for 3 years and in Mexico it is annual, I had to take it again. How lucky I am! 🙂

Tools and techniques to have a calm trip with a dog

If a long plane trip can be stressful for humans, it can be worse for a dog! Their routine changes abruptly, such as eating, sleeping and relief. Fortunately, some techniques help to normalize these situations and that our Rafa has already mastered to perfection, thanks to the training and education that we always kept at home.


Regarding food, we needed to check which type and amount we could enter Mexico with and we found that:

  • Pet food must be fish only
  • It is only possible to take an amount of feed corresponding to 1 day.

As such, we took with us a sachet of salmon feed in the cabin so that Rafa could go snacking when he got more troubled. However, since he’s always quite sleepy and relaxed during flights, he ended up eating almost nothing.


Drinking water is undoubtedly one of the most important parts of a long-haul trip and it can be complicated and unappetizing for animals. Fortunately, Royal Canin has a wide range of products that have given us a helping hand. In this case, the powdered electrolytes of the Veterinary Rehydration Support line, in which it is enough to pour the contents of a sachet into Rafa’s water, dissolve and give him to drink. Thus, our dog will need less water to stay hydrated during the trip to Mexico.

As a result:

Less water = Less full bladder = Less urge to urinate

Once we imagined that the taste of electrolyte powder might not be the most pleasant thing in the world, we decided to start the process the day before the trip, so that Rafa could get used to it.

Physiological needs

Our buddy was trained for any circumstance, including physiological needs. So, when he shows he needs to urinate, for example (translated into physical agitation), we take him to the toilet, put him a napper (this time we chose to take pads for postpartum women, it works similarly). Then we give the order to pee that he already knows. He raises his paw and, if he feels like it, he pees. It doesn’t leave a smell, it doesn’t bother the other passengers and we’re all calmer. 🙂

Landing in Mexico with our dog

When landing in Mexico and after getting off the plane, it was necessary to go through passport control and veterinary inspection. Almost everything went fine, including a group photo with the police officer who stamped our passports! 🙂

However, we came to know that we needed a new veterinary certificate so that we could then leave Mexico. This should be 5 days maximum and should be issued and signed by a veterinarian living in the country. All of this meant that we started our vacation searching for a veterinarian, which was not difficult, as we soon found the Tulum Veterinary Clinic, fully available to help us.

We can thus say that the arrival in the Mexico had a positive balance. Despite the many hours up there, Rafa behaved very well, always relaxed and calm, as much as possible. Here you can see the video about this trip and arrival in Mexico.

What happened next?

We’ll tell you everything in the next article!

Kisses, hugs and licks

Sara, Pedro and RAFITA 🐶

Useful links:

High Rabies Countries

DGAV – Portugal

Travelling from/to Mexico with your pet


TUGA.ME team


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